The purpose of this module is to acquaint the user with a variety of technological tools and methodology that are currently being explored and used by field researchers in the biological sciences.
The amount of information available on the internet continues to increase exponentially. As a result, it becomes more difficult to locate specific resources. It is a bit like being in a huge library where knowledge on any topic throughout civilization has been placed without the luxury of titles, bound volumes, and no standardized organization. The user of such a system might very quickly become frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount of data available and no clue as to how to make meaningful use of it. The explosion of available internet data is not always encapsulated in an easy to find comprehensive package. At present, this world-wide electronic library is still lacking a meaningful, standardized, organizational scheme. While this module has been designed to give the student an introduction to the infinite possibilities available, it is by no means all-inclusive. It is a place to begin the exploration of on-line, computer archived, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems pertaining to a specific discipline in Biology. Digital imagery in the form of scanned photographs, high altitude images captured during NASA space shuttle missions and those images collected and relayed to base stations via satellites, are combined with intensive field research data at precise locations. Keep an open mind and discover the infinite possibilities this approach may offer to traditional field studies.
Using a biological analogy; the internet, and this module, is much like a food web; each component is linked to a web of others. The unique qualities of a customized presentation are the result of a series of choices. Explore, learn, dream of the possibilities, and remember, have fun!